Getting a college education is one of the most important investments you'll make in your life. But with the increasingly high costs of tuition, figuring out how to pay for your education can be discouraging -- or just downright scary.
Along with aid from the U.S. federal government, you'll want to check out the variety of grant and loan repayment programs available from the state of Arizona, and awarded through the schools.
Tribal Higher Education Grant
The Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose Western Regional office is located in Phoenix, has a federal grant program available to students who are at least one-quarter American Indian, who are pursuing a degree at an accredited school, and who show financial need. Applications for this grant are available through the education office of the Tribe in which you are affiliated.
Leveraging Education Assistance Partnership (LEAP)
The LEAP program offers a maximum grant of $2,500 (though average is $700) to Arizona students with financial need. Approximately $3.4 million went to Arizonans in 2005-06. LEAP monies are offered through the schools.
Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (SLEAP)
The SLEAP program assists Arizona sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, math, or education, and who show financial need. The maximum award is $2,000. You must be attending school at leats half-time, and you should be pursuing either an associate or bachelor's degree.
Arizona Private Postsecondary Education Student Financial Assistance (PFAP)
Arizona's PFAP program offers a maximum of $3,000 over 3 years (or up to $1,500 per fiscal year) to eligible Arizona community college graduates who are enrolled full-time in a baccalaureate degree program at a private school, and who show financial need. Approximately $153,000 went to Arizonans in 2005-06.
Postsecondary Education Grant (PEG) Program
The Postsecondary Education Grant is a non-need based grant offering up to $2,000 per year for up to 4 years for students pursuing a bachelor's degree at a private school in Arizona.. The grant can be used for tuition, books and fees.
All students should apply for the above aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA. Most schools have their own financial aid applications in addition to the FAFSA. It's a good idea to check with a school's financial aid department about specific procedures and deadlines, as they vary.